As parents is our responsibility to make sure that our children grow into decent people one day. Not just that they are polite and agreeable, although this is also important, but also that they know how to take proper care of themselves.

Sure, there will come a day where you look at your kid, who has grown into a teenager, and wonder where you went wrong – but keep in mind that most teenagers go through a phase where it seems like they forgot everything you taught them.

Make sure that you’ve covered the most important stuff by having a look at the tips below. At least they will have the tools to succeed even if they don’t always seem to use them, and you can feel a bit more confident that you’ve done your very best.

Here is a handful of things you should teach your kids before they’ve all grown up so that they get the best possible foundation.

First: Finances

As we grow up, life gets increasingly complicated. There are bills to pay, mortgages to keep up with, student loans that never seem to end – and we long back to the days when we were children. Finance is an easy task for your kids; they might get an allowance, try to save a bit of it like you taught them, before they sneak off to the shop with their friends to buy candy.

It’s kind of the same things we do just without all the supervision. We just tend to have a lot more expenses when we grow up and not as much to spend on candy at all. Try to teach your kids about finances before they grow up and have to enter the real world; there is so much that the schools are teaching them that they won’t be using in real life quite yet.

The learning opportunities seem to go to waste, in other words, and they will forget all about this when they head off to university and build up a ton of credit card debt. Look for opportunities to teach them about finances during your everyday life.

Talk about probability when playing the lottery with your family, for example, and view here if you need some more information. Think about how you can talk to them about smart shopping when you’re out in the grocery shop together, show them the energy bills you receive and go through what all the expenses mean, and talk about the difference between credit and debit.

They will learn all of this during the course of their lives but it’s so much healthier for their personal finances to learn it a bit sooner.Another point to this is that you might want to consider how you play out the allowance-scheme you have going on. Perhaps they get an allowance every week which depends on the housework they’re doing – or maybe they get their allowance nonetheless.

Surprisingly, many experts claim that the latter is more beneficial as it shifts the focus over on budgeting rather than telling the kids that they can skip their housework if they give up their allowance. While you, as a responsible adult, would never dream of giving up your job as you’d miss out on your salary, your children don’t really feel the same way.

There will still be food on the table, after all, and most children don’t have the same understanding of consequences as we do. Giving up a bit of money to play video games for the rest of the day rather than cleaning the room? Sounds great.

Next: Cooking

Teenagers are young adults everywhere are known for their poor diets. Cooking takes time, after all, at least if you’d like it to taste good and it often requires a bit of skill in the kitchen as well. To most of us, these skills come with time – and, in the meantime, we live on takeaway and frozen pizza while complaining about not having enough money.

You can spare your kids from all of this by teaching them how to cook sooner rather than later. It is, after all, something we need to do in order to survive and it should definitely be a priority for you to teach this to your children. They can start out when they’re rather young as well, by the way, and you don’t have to wait for them to come to you before you start the lessons.

Ask the younger ones to help out with the safe and easy tasks in the kitchen such as tearing up the lettuce and helping you with taking out the ingredients you need. As they age, they can help out by cutting up softer vegetables with a plastic knife, measuring up ingredients for baking, and keeping the cooking area clean.

All children love to help out in the kitchen – and all children love food. Making sure that they are involved and steadily gaining kitchen skills as they age is something that is entirely up to you. It could, after all, mean the difference between a teenager who only knows how to put that frozen pizza into the oven and a teenager who surprises you with a home-cooked meal on a weeknight.

Remember hygiene

Keeping oneself and our surroundings clean is something that comes naturally to us as we grow up. As children or even teenagers, on the other hand, hygiene is something that is learnt. Focus on teaching your children the importance of personal hygiene so that they don’t grow up to become somebody sloppy housemate who never does the dishes, barely does any laundry, and rarely washes himself.

These people do exist, you know, and while you’d never dream of your children being one of them, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remind them to always wash their hands after using the bathroom, before eating dinner, and involve them when doing the laundry as they grow up.

You are, after all, the only one who is going to teach them all of this so it’s better to get started right away.

Greg Kononenko
Greg Kononenko

My name is Greg Kononenko and I am a full-time online blogger and owner of Dad's Hustle. I'm a dad, and my passion is to help other mums and dads to start their own "hustle" and improve the financial future of their families.

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